Commentary - Journal of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry (2023) Volume 7, Issue 4
Age-Specific Manifestations of Psychogenic Disorders: A Comparative AnalysisJoseph Jankov*
Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Fannin St Houston, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Joseph Jankov
Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic
Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine
Fannin St Houston, USA
Received: 23-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. AAAGP-23-106267; Editor assigned: 26-Jun-2023, PreQC No. AAAGP-23-106267(PQ); Reviewed: 10-Jul-2023, QC No. AAAGP-23-106267; Revised: 12-Jul-2023, Manuscript No. AAAGP-23-106267 (R); Published: 19-Jul-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aaagp-7.4.157
Citation: Jankov J. Age-specific manifestations of psychogenic disorders: A comparative analysis. J Age Geriat Psych. 2023;7(4):157
Psychogenic disorders, also known as somatoform disorders or psychosomatic disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by physical symptoms that have no identifiable medical cause. These disorders can affect individuals across different age groups, but their manifestations can vary significantly depending on the developmental stage and life experiences of the individual. In this article, we will explore the age-specific manifestations of psychogenic disorders and conduct a comparative analysis to shed light on their unique characteristics .
Childhood and early adolescence
Children and early adolescents often exhibit age-specific manifestations of psychogenic disorders. Conditions such as conversion disorder, somatic symptom disorder, and selective mutism are commonly observed. Conversion disorder, for example, may manifest as sudden and unexplained paralysis, seizures, or loss of sensory functions. Children may also experience symptoms like frequent headaches, stomachaches, or unexplained fatigue .
During adolescence, individuals face a multitude of physical, emotional, and social changes, making this a crucial stage for psychogenic disorders to emerge. Conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are more prevalent . Adolescents with BDD may develop an obsessive preoccupation with perceived flaws in their appearance, while eating disorders often arise from distorted body image and issues surrounding self-esteem.
In adulthood, stressors related to work, relationships, and societal expectations can contribute to the onset of psychogenic disorders. Conditions like somatic symptom disorder, illness anxiety disorder (formerly hypochondriasis), and psychogenic pain disorder may arise. Somatic symptom disorder involves excessive concern about and preoccupation with physical symptoms, while illness anxiety disorder is characterized by an excessive fear of having a serious medical condition . Psychogenic pain disorder refers to the experience of persistent pain without any identifiable physical cause.
Psychogenic disorders in older adults often present unique challenges due to the interplay between physical and psychological factors. Conditions like somatic symptom disorder, depression, and adjustment disorders may become more prominent . Older adults may experience multiple physical comorbidities, which can complicate the diagnosis and management of psychogenic disorders. Additionally, grief and loss, retirement, and social isolation can contribute to the development of psychological distress.
While psychogenic disorders share some common characteristics across different age groups, such as the absence of medical explanations for physical symptoms, there are distinct differences in their presentations. Children and adolescents often exhibit more physical symptoms, while adults and older adults may experience a wider range of cognitive and emotional manifestations. Additionally, the stressors and life experiences specific to each age group can significantly influence the development and course of psychogenic disorders.
Understanding the age-specific manifestations of psychogenic disorders is crucial for accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate support. Professionals working in mental health, including clinicians, psychologists, and educators, should consider the unique challenges and presentations associated with different age groups. By recognizing the specific needs of individuals at various stages of development, we can provide targeted interventions and promote better mental well-being across the lifespan.
- Sigurdardottir KR, Olafsson E. Incidence of psychogenic seizures in adults: a population-based study in Iceland. Epilepsia. 1998;39(7):749-52.
- National Association of Epilepsy Centers, Gumnit RJ, Walczak TS. Guidelines for essential services, personnel, and facilities in specialized epilepsy centers in the United States. Epilepsia. 2001;42(6):804-14.
- Pakalnis A, Paolicchi J. Frequency of secondary conversion symptoms in children with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2003;4(6):753-6.
- Asadi-Pooya AA, Emami M. Reasons for uncontrolled seizures in children: the impact of pseudointractability. Epilepsy Behav. 2012;25(3):341-4.
- Reuber M. Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: answers and questions. Epilepsy Behav. 2008;12(4):622-35.